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New York State has signed a sizeable deal with Microsoft for its 120,000 workforce to use its Office 365 suite of tools as large organisations continue to embrace the cloud.
The contract will give staff access to a range of tools including mailboxes of 25GB – up from the 500MB currently available to staff – as well as consolidating email, word and data-processing tools down from 27 different systems to one single platform. This would save New York State $3m a year.
The decision to choose Microsoft’s suite of products is another timely boost for the company and was made after a thorough review by the state into its IT needs, under the direction of New York governor Andrew Cuomo.
Microsoft's vice president of state and local government for the firm Michael Donlan said the decision underlined the willingness of large organisation to embrace the cloud for core enterprise needs.
“I’m continually impressed by the forward-looking nature of our state customers when it comes to maximising their available resources,” he said. “In this move to the cloud, governor Cuomo’s administration is equally focused on ensuring the productivity and efficiency of its employees along with the security and privacy of its citizens across New York."
Moving to the cloud will also enable staff to access the tools on their smartphones and tablet devices, as the demand for mobile productivity continues to alter the needs of workforces across the globe.
The deal is a boost for Microsoft, coming soon after a 58,000-seat deal with British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group, which last week signed a similar deal. It too touted the mobile and cloud capabilities of the tools as central to their requirements.
It also helps give Microsoft ammunition in its ongoing fight with Google in the enterrpise, with the search giant rolling out numerous customers to tout its own suite of products against its Redmond rival.
Microsoft will be hoping these huge installed bases of customers and staff using its platforms help generate more interest in its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 platforms over time, which so far have struggled to make any noticeable headway in enterprise markets.